Adapt or Die

Change. We are all familiar with it. Some of us adapt, some of us don’t. When you live to be almost seventy years of age as I have, you have experienced many changes.

I have had a passion for music for as long as I can remember. I remember in the early sixties when I received my first record player. I would sit in front of it for hours playing my favorite tunes that were pressed onto vinyl discs. 45 RPM and 33 1/3 RPM were the options.

Then, in the early seventies, the cassette tape slowly replaced vinyl. After that, the 8-track tape player became the next best thing. The compact laser disc (CD) soon followed and then MP3 players and iPods. I adapted to all those changes to how people get their music.

Dare I mention changes in fashion? Can you picture me in 1970 as I put on my tie-dyed shirt, bleached jeans, knee-length suede moccasins, fringed suede vest, long hair, John Lennon sunglasses as I prepared to play and sing at a club where my band, The Devil’s Workshop played? (No, I did not make that up). I guess we can be glad that some things do change.

I am an adapter. To quote the Oakland A’s baseball team’s owner Billie Beane, “Adapt or die!”

At this moment we are in the middle of Autumn, that time of year when many things change outside. Leaves change color and fall. Temperatures drop and hard frost comes. Seasonal sales will soon be in full bloom as Thanksgiving and Christmas draw near. Clocks get turned back one hour. Changes.

But not all change is welcomed change. Our culture has dramatically changed in my lifetime. I find many of the changes to be disappointing and disheartening. As John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote in their song In My Life: 

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better…

Then there are the changes one experiences in their bodies as they age. When I was a kid, snap, crackle and pop were the sounds my breakfast cereal made in the morning; now they are the sounds I make in the morning as I try to get out of bed. Once again, I must adapt or die.

As I am writing this blog I am wondering why adapting seems easier for me than it does for others. Not everyone handles change very well. They resist it, complain about it, and reminisce about the good ole days. While I certainly understand that point of view, I also recognize that it relegates one to the world of irrelevance. I want to be a relevant force in the world that I live in, regardless of the changes that take place, while at the same time holding true to my core values.

I think that the main reason why I am comfortable with change is that, for the past 44 years, I have known and clung to the One who never changes:

“For I the LORD do not change…” Malachi 3:6

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

The steadfastness of my King makes it easier for me to be less threatened by the changes taking place all around me.

The other day I sensed the Lord speaking to me about this subject. When it comes to change, he told me that it was better to step towards it than run from it.

Friend, step toward the changes that are taking place in your life. Don’t run from them. The changes may have something to teach you, and you may have something to teach the change. Hold on tightly to the One who never changes, and adapt to the changes taking place around you.

Adapt or die.  

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About the Author : Steve Sabol

"Steve Sabol was born October 3rd, 1950 in Bristol, PA. He married Nancy Keller, the love of his life on July 12th, 1969. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2019. They have a son and a daughter, five granddaughters, and five great-grandchildren. Steve entered full-time pastoral ministry in August of 1980. He’s been a shepherd for over forty years. He moved to Lebanon thirty years ago and today serves as one of Lifeway Church’s community pastors. Steve has been a musician for over fifty years and his favorite instrument is the guitar. Ministering to men in prisons, churches, rescue missions and community centers has been a passion of Steve’s for over 12 years. He has spoken at over thirty men’s events across the country and sends out a daily inspirational email to over 6,000 men every day. He is currently writing a book titled “Connected” which should be available in the summer of 2020. Steve loves spending time with his bride, and staying busy for the King, changing the world one man at a time."

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